Water Melons And Cantaloupes

How do you grow Water Melons and Cantaloupes?
Laura
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Lot of sun and water
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Plenty of space (they roam), good soil, full sun, long warm summer and appropriate water. Maybe start with a gardening book or a general gardening webpage? Here is one
http://www.thevegetablepatch.com /
David
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On Sun, 30 Apr 2006 19:03:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (Laura) wrote:

I never had any success with them untill I started to spray them occasionally. An organic like "eight" works fine. I never sprayed anything before. Now I use it on melons and cabbages.
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(Laura) wrote:

Spray for what purpose? And, where do you live?
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I have the same sort of question -- I have plenty of water and space -- but am short on growing season, living in northern Montana -- zone 3. I started watermelon and cantaloupe under the grow lights -- so they are off and growing early. I read somewhere that if I plant them in black plastic, the ground will stay warmer and I might actually get fruit -- anybody had any experience with this method?
Lisa

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Clear plastic works better. And, you'll be successful (at least with cantaloupes) if you choose a short season variety. Finally, there's no room for interference in short season areas. My melon plants were seriously damaged by deer last summer - they ate almost half the leaves, so I ended up with just 3 melons from 2 plants. The rest matured too slowly, probably due to lack of leaf area, and by the time they were about half size, frost killed the plants.
It also helps a lot to work some composted manure into the soil. Melons are very heavy feeders. A handful of 10-10-10 granular fertilizer can't hurt, about a week after setting the plants out in the garden.
I'm trying watermelon for the first time this year, so I can't offer any advice based on actual experience. The rules are the same, though.
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Thanks for the tips - good luck with the melons -- snowed here this morning -- so guess it will be a few more weeks under the grow lights for my experiments. :-)
Lisa
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If you are going to do it properly, for a shorter season You MUST take earlier varieties with smaller fruits, plant them earlier indoor and when repotting them outdoor - make them "nests" - mixed manuar with a ground, but also if the ground is cold we use manuar which didn't finish it's transformation fully, so it produce some heating bellow, but it must not have direct contact with the root, 30-50cm in the ground that manuar, then ground and in it the plant. Also we make small banks of ground covered with black plastic (wide 1m), what you have mentioned. Also we graft watermelon on Lagenaria siceraria - vulgaris (latin name), bigger root, better exploatation of nutrients from the ground, more resistant to droughts, higher yield, earlier fruits come, and this plant is resistant to fusarium (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum). But maybe elsewhere is better way to grow them, this is only my point of view.
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Thanks for the tips -- we have access to plenty of manure -- well aged and otherwise -- from the ranch down the road. And I'm not expecting bumper crops of these melons -- only experimenting for the fun of it -- "it's the journey, not the destination" and all that jazz. If I get a fruit or two -- all the better!
Lisa
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The people I know in their climat had fruits over 27 kg weight, and pure sugar, I didn't have those big - little colder at my place, 15- 17 kg the most.
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Start them inside early and get them out after the temp stays above 55 F. Cold temps stunt their growth and recovering from that can add an extra week or so to the maturing time. Dont try to get a large melon to make it, because they probably wont. Sugar Babies might be the size that might make it there.
Why dont you plant Blueberrys, raspberries, and cranberries? Then when they are ripe, bring some here to Western Kansas and I will trade you melons for them?
Dwayne

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